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Oct. 10, 2004

Box Score

Starkville, Miss. – South Carolina volleyball appeared to get back on track Sunday as they fought through an intense game one to beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 3-0. USC won 35-33, 30-14, 30-19 to improve to 10-5 overall and 3-3 in the SEC. Setters Katelyn Panzau and Iris Santos combined for 36 of USC’s 40 assists to lead the Gamecocks to victory. Junior middle blocker Lauren Ford led Carolina with 10 kills and six blocks while sophomore outside hitter Shonda Cole also had 10 kills and hit .500.

“It is good to feel like we are on track again. Game one was so critical in our mental toughness and our team chemistry. I am very pleased with how we fought through that,” said head coach Kim Hudson. “We had only 10 hitting errors for the match and that was due to our focus. Our setters played really well today and our team worked well together today.”

It was a fight to the end but the Gamecocks came out on top in game one after battling a 35-33 win to take a 1-0 lead in the match. After a service ace by Megan Lukasek tied the game 28-28, the two teams tied six more times before the final point was decided. Carolina was down 32-31 before a kill by Iris Santos kept the game alive. The Gamecocks were then able to capitalize on Bulldog errors as Ashley Sledge had a service error to give USC the tying point, 33-33 and Andrea Mead was called for a ball handling error to give USC the lead. Carolina snatched the victory on a kill by Cole.

Statistically, the two teams were close in numbers as USC had 19 kills and MSU had 20. The Gamecocks hit .255 to the Bulldogs’ .220 and outblocked MSU 4-0. Both teams recorded 18 assists and 21 digs.

The Gamecocks controlled game two and held the Bulldogs to just 14 points. USC went errorless for the first time this season and hit .550 with 11 kills and zero errors in 20 attempts. USC held four MSU players to a negative hitting percentage. Ford had three kills in five attempts and hit .600 while Santos had two kills in three attempts and hit .667. Vanden Hull, Cole and Miller all went perfect in their attempts. Up 22-14, the Gamecocks closed out game two with an 8-0 run to record the 30-14 win and went up 2-0 in the match.

Carolina continued to roll in game three as they put MSU away 30-19. In the final game, the Gamecocks hit .281 and held the Bulldogs to just .024. For the match, USC hit .320 to MSU’s .073. Rachel Cooper led MSU in kills with 12. The Gamecocks also outblocked MSU 9-0. The Bulldogs fell to 9-9 overall and 2-4 in the SEC.